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Listening to the Earth

March 16, 2007 — There is no language more universal than dance and the University of Utah’s (the U) department of modern dance is using this language to inspire and involve more than 220 students at Edison Elementary School in a production of Tandy Beal’s “Listening to the Earth.” The performance will take place Saturday, March 17 at 2 p.m. at Kingsbury Hall.

Now in its 21st year, “Listening to the Earth” will be directed by professor Kaye Richards of the U’s department of modern dance. The performance features professional artists, local actors, U of U modern dance students, a special section featuring parents dancing with their young children, and hundreds of students from Edison Elementary School

The story takes five children on a magical journey where they meet the Hidden Lady who teaches them to open their eyes to the wonder that is all around us in this world. Along the way, they encounter Senora Science, a wacky wizard who teaches them that we are all made from the same material. He explains how we are all “star stuff”-made from atoms that came from exploding stars

Rachel Goldman, honors student and modern dance major, has been helping direct the production and says that the performance will be the culmination of seven weeks of collaboration between the U’s modern dance students and over 220 elementary students at Edison Elementary. “Twenty-six languages are spoken at Edison Elementary School and we have found that dance is an amazing way of communicating with everyone,” she says. “I am learning first-hand the power of dance to create deep connections between many different people.”

“Listening to the Earth” has been described as a “magical and incredible production combining music, dance and theater.” For the hundreds of children from Edison Elementary, this will be magical in many other ways-as their first experience on stage, and for some as a moment of pure, uncomplicated communication. “I think it is important for the community to see how art can change lives,” says Goldman, “These kids deserve to be recognized by the community for their hard work.”

Tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for children 12 and under. For more information on ticket sales, call 801-581-7100.